LDEF (Flight), AO076 : Cascade Variable-Conductance Heat Pipe, Tray F09 EL-1994-00020 LDEF (Flight), AO076 : Cascade Variable-Conductance Heat Pipe, Tray F09 The flight photograph of the Cascade Variable Conductance Heat Pipe Experiment (CVCHPE) was taken while the LDEF was attached to the Orbiter's RMS arm prior to berthing in the Orbiter's cargo bay. The white paint dots on the center clamp blocks of the experiment trays right flange and lower flange appear to be slightly discolored. The LDEF structure, top intercostal, has a dark brown discoloration adjacent to the black thermal panel. Aluminum particles from the degraded CVCHPE thermal blanket are also visible in this area. The Cascade Variable Conductance Heat Pipe Experiment (CVCHPE) occupies a 6 inch deep LDEF peripheral experiment tray and consist of two series connected variable conductance heatpipes, a black chrome solar collector panel and a silvered TEFLONÔæÆ radiator panel, a power source to support six thermistor-type temperature monitoring sensors and actuations of two valves. Fiberglass standoffs and internal insulation blankets thermally isolated the experiment from the experiment tray and the LDEF interior. The outside of the CVCHPE, except the collector and radiator panels, was covered with an aluminumized Kapton multilayer insulation (MLI) blanket with an outer layer of 0.076 mm thick Kapton. The two patches of thin film materials, part of an atomic oxygen experiment (see S1001) by NASA GSFC, were attached to the cover of the external thermal blanket with Kapton tape. The experiment was assembled and mounted in the experiment tray with non-magnetic stainless steel fasteners. The external CVCHPE materials have changed significantly. The Kapton on the thermal blanket aluminized Kapton cover appears to be completely eroded, except under Kel-F buttons used to secure the blanket, leaving only the very thin vapor deposited aluminum coating as a cover. Parts of the aluminum coating residue has moved to cover a portion of the black solar absorber panel and also areas of the trays upper and lower flanges. The shadow on the tray lower flange would indicate that the aluminum extends several inches out of the tray envelope. One of the two thin film atomic oxygen experiment patches is gone and the other does not appear to be securely attached. The layer of Kapton tape over the thin film strips appears to be eroded with only the adhesive remaining. The remaining atomic oxygen experiment materials have changed colors and most appear to be severely degraded. The silvered TEFLONÔæÆ coating of the radiator panel appears diffuse with a light brown discoloration over most of the surface. The white, evenly spaced, discolorations along the vertical centerline and across the top of the panel appear to be above counter sunk flat head screws used to assemble the experiment. The black spots on the radiator panel appear to be impact craters where the impact penetrated the TEFLONÔæÆ material and exposed the silver beneath to the atomic oxygen flux. Particles of the degraded thermal blanket material appear to be adhered to the surface of the radiator panel.